Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Food Safety Farm to Preschool training program?

The Food Safety from Farm and Garden to Preschool program is an online training program for early childcare educators and foodservice staff developed by the University of Massachusetts and the University of New Hampshire.

Why is food safety information important for farm and garden programs?

Introducing fresh fruits and vegetables to young children is a great way to develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Although fresh produce is not often thought of as source of foodborne illness, it is actually a major contributor to food-related illness.

Who should participate in this training?

The training was developed to provide food safety information and resources to early childcare educators and foodservice staff. Parents and parent volunteers may also find this training to be useful.

What does the program include?

The program is made up of five units. An introductory video which provides a quick overview of the course content and layout is also available on the home page.

Units include:

  1. Farm to Preschool Benefits
  2. Fresh Produce and Foodborne Illness Risks
  3. Food Safety Basics for the Classroom and Kitchen
  4. Food Safety and Gardening Activities
  5. Food Safety on Field Trips to Farms and Farmers’ Markets.

How do I participate in this training?

To start this training click the LOGIN button on the home page of the program. This will direct you to the Login Page. If you are a first time user you will be directed to register.

How does it work?

Once you have an account, you will log in and can start the training by taking a short pretest survey. The pretest will only appear once. After completing the pretest, you will be able to start the program. Each unit is made up of a series of video clips and activities which will help reinforce the information. The program is designed so that you will be required to complete the core units (Units 1-3) in successive order. The program will keep track of where you are in the process. You will be able to access and view any items you have completed previously through the My Progress page. After completing the core units you will be able to access the optional units (Units 4 and 5) at any time.

What is the posttest survey?

A posttest survey appears at the conclusion of Units 1-3 and again after Unit 4 and Unit 5. The surveys will help us assess if there are any changes in food safety knowledge and attitudes based on participation in the program. The surveys must be completed in order to receive a certificate of completion for the Units.

What is the follow-up survey and how do I access the form?

Approximately 6 weeks after completing the Unit 1-3 posttest survey we will send you an email. The email will include a link back to the Food Safety Farm and Garden to Preschool website. Log in and go to the My Progress page. The follow-up survey will be available at the bottom of Unit 3.

What will I get if I participate in this program?

A certificate of completion will be available to print after completing the core Units (1-3). Certificates of completion are also available after finishing Unit 4 and again after Unit 5. The certificates may count towards professional development requirements. Please check with your local and state requirements to verify this information.

Can I receive CEUs for participating in this program?

This training program does not offer CEUs. However, certificates of completion are available after completing the core Units (1-3) and again after completing Unit 4 and Unit 5.

Does this training program cost anything?

There is no cost to participate in this training.

Can I print out information from each unit?

Printable transcripts for each unit and additional resources are available in the resource section. In addition, you will be able to print out copies of your Best Practices Planning Tools and your Certificates of Completion to keep for your records.

Can I leave the program and come back later?

Yes, the program will keep track of your progress through each of the Units.

How long will it take to complete each unit? The whole program?

The length of each unit varies. We estimate that it will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete each unit.

What computer requirements are needed to participate in the program?

You need an up-to-date web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome. Javascript must be enabled in your browser.

Why are the videos not working on my computer?

First, make sure that the browswer you are using is up to date. If you are working in Internet Explorer you need to make sure that compatibility mode is turned OFF.

What Browser Print Settings should I use to optimize printed appearance of completed Best Practices forms?

For best results when printing, adjust the settings your browser provides to leave the ‘Page Header’ and ‘Page Footer’ fields blank.
For example, in firefox, this window will pop up:

If you want to get rid of a certain field, select (Blank). We recommend selecting (Blank) for every field.

How can I prevent Farm to Preschool messages from ending up in my spam folder?

To avoid messages going to your spam folder, please add safefoodfarm2kid@umass.edu to your address book.

Who should I contact for information about the site?

If you have questions about this program or need assistance with the technical components of the website please contact us.